By Philip Mogul [email@example.com]
Submitted November 2000
Summary: A Hanukkah-type tale in which Lois and Clark learn a bit more about living in a Utopian society.
Standard FanFic Disclaimer's apply.
The story I have attempted to write and pass on to you is a Hanukkah-type tale surrounded by the Lois and Clark format. In my view, there are really no Christmas or Hanukkah stories. There are just themes that are superimposed on the backbone of an idea. This story, I believe, should be called a season's greeting yarn with a Judaic overlay.
Kathy, your message about not having any Hanukkah stories for the upcoming holiday season prompted this story. Your subtle request brought back a memory of my father and a very young boy sitting in the kitchen on a cold December day sipping tea a long, long time ago. In that quiet house, he related to me a special story. You must know that each of his tales, of course, was special to me. He was my father of blessed memory.
In each of the narratives which my father related, there was always a philosophic concept buried somewhere in the tale. A thought that he hoped would be learned and passed on to our children. His story on that cold winter's day dealt with one of the most important concepts in the entire Judeo-Christian world, charity. To me, charity is the most important concept that can be culled from the literature flowing from the Judeo- Christian sources.
Giving to help or preserve God's greatest creation is part of the messianic message that pervades the thoughts and aspirations throughout all western civilization. So, after more than five decades since I first head this little ditty, I'm giving it to you as a holiday gift. Of course, this message was incorporated within a Lois and Clark tale, which may make it more interesting as it is significant.
Consider, then, this little story, imbedded in a modern Superman tale, as something from my father to you. I hope you enjoy my little fiction and the timeless message it conveys.
May health, a measure of wealth, and blessings of joy be yours during this, the first Christmas and Hanukkah holiday season of the new century. The twenty-first century really begins on 2001. But we can pretend.
As the winter solstice approached, the people of Aubin, a small French hamlet, were preparing for their annual festival of lights. This rather quaint village was situated on the shore of Lac de Neuchatel, a watery barrier, which separated France from Switzerland.
The Aubin festival commemorated two holidays, Christmas and Hanukkah. This year, Hanukkah, a holiday measured on the lunar time scale, would nearly coincide with the celebration of its Christmas cousin.
Hanukkah was a holiday that celebrated redemption, hope, and freedom and was probably the happiest event within the Hebraic tradition. The festival of Christmas marked the birth of a special babe. A child who represented, as do all youngsters, joy, hope and a beacon of salvation for our battered world.
These festivals, while commemorating dissimilar but joyous happenings, mirrored the desires of all people of good will— peace on Earth and the yearning of freedom that pervades all of humankind.
Aubin was a unique hamlet. It was founded nearly a millennia ago by people who had managed to escape such unconscionable happenings as the York massacres and the killings wrought by the crusaders as they trekked through Europe on their way to do battle for the Holy Land.
As the people of Aubin were building a society where cooperation between the towns diverse ethnic groups was the hallmark of the community, the rest of the European continent suffered from ten centuries of belligerent a scenario.
It was almost a miracle that as the European wars and feuds raged on a few Christians, some descendants of Abraham, the followers of Islam, together with a handful Zoroastrians, managed to build a civilized town on the shore of Luc de Neuchatel. Refusing to give into death and despair, Aubin's people pooled their emotional and physical reserves and lifted their spirits from the dung heap of a continent ravaged by war. In the midst of death, a defiled and savaged people formed an alliance of good will. Trusting in the Creator, the people of Aubin built a village which in time became a sanctuary dedicated to tolerance, hope, peace, and religious freedom. An Elysium-like community in the midst of hatred and destruction.
During the next millennium, as the world of man on the European continent and elsewhere slaughtered each other, in the name of one thing or another, the village of Aubin flourished and the diversity of its peoples increased. Huguenots settled in the area. Early Protestants found sanctuary within the village. No ethnic groups or individuals who wished to stay were ever turned away.
As the centuries silently flowed on through the vortex of time, there were difficult periods interspersed with joyous times. Through thick and thin, the people of the Aubin helped each other and offered aid to other towns within their reach. Some say the Broadway show "Brigadoon" was inspired by the Aubin experience. There was one major exception between these two hamlets, however. The imaginary village of Brigadoon could escape unpleasantness by disappearing into the mists of time and reappear a century later, while the town on Lac de Neuchatel had "to slug it out" with reality.
One of the most difficult periods for the Abuin community occurred during the Second World War. This global conflict allowed for the creation of a Holocaust where Jews and Gypsies and others peoples consider undesirable were marked for death. To save the Aubin contingent of these peoples from slaughter, thy were ferried across Lac de Neuchatel to Switzerland and safety. After the world wide hostilities ended in nineteen forty-five, the refugees from Aubin returned to their village on Lac de Neuchatel and the life of the area once again continued into the broad uplands of peace and contentment.
As the Village of Aubin was preparing to celebrate the festivals of Christmas and Hanukkah, three thousand miles away, the Daily Planet was also gearing up to cover the recent escape from prison of a villain known as the Prankster.
While the villagers of Lac de Neuchatel were listening and playing holiday music and in general enjoying the spirit of the season, Lois and Clark were listening to a bellowing Perry White as he strutted around the Planet's bullpen.
When the editor and chief of Metropolis' most famous newspaper saw his top reporters chatting, he barked, "Clark, Lois, to my office now and be quick about it."
As the Editor and Chief of the Daily Planet retreated to his office, the Kents scurried after him.
After Lois and Clark had entered the chief's office and closed the door, Perry said, "The Prankster and one of his stooges are on the loose again."
"When did they break out, Chief?" Lois asked.
"About three this morning," Perry answered her. "Right now the police think they have the Prankster and his stooge cornered in the basement of a Barstow Technologies building located at third and Elm. Get over there and get me a page one story."
Pausing for a moment, Perry continued, "Lois, remember you're pregnant. Don't take any unnecessary risks, yeah hear. I want my godkids born in one piece, not buried in pieces."
As the Kents hurried to their assignment, Jimmy said to Perry, "Did I hear you right, Chief? "Kids"? Lois and Clark are expecting more than one baby?"
"Yeah, Jimbo," Perry replied, "Lois has three bundles of fun in the oven."
"Wow," Olsen remarked. "With Jonathan Samuel, CK and Lois will really have their hands full."
"Yeah, Jimmy," Perry said. "They'll be up to their armpits in diapers and other baby stuff." Scratching his head, Perry sighed and remarked, "We're just gonna have to give them a hand with their new munchkins until they can figure out how to cope on the own."
Jimmy shook his head as he retorted, "You betcha, Chief, you betcha. That's what families do."
As Perry and Jimmy were contemplating Lois and Clark's new additions, the two intrepid reporters were making a beeline to one of the many Barstow laboratory buildings.
When Clark and Lois arrived at the scene of a possible "shoot out" between the Prankster and the authorities, they were confronted by a police barrier. When they attempted to cross this barricade by flashing their press passes, a police sergeant, not particularly fond of Lois, said in a rather surly manner, "No one, especially you, Lane, is going beyond this point."
Finally exasperated by his many tete-a-tete's with Lois over time, the cop added, "Lady, why don't you go home and knit or do something that's useful and give Metropolis a break from your interference and that annoying babble mouth of yours. Do that until you give birth and I, especially, will be eternally grateful to you." Then turning to Clark, the policeman remarked, "Tell me, Kent, how do you put up with that domineering wife of yours. She's one pushy broad.?"
When the sardonic policeman stopped talking, Clark move quickly between the cop and his wife. Lois was now in her "Mad Dog Lane" mode and was out for blood—the police sergeant's blood.
Realizing what was about to happen, Clark grabbed his wife and held her at bay. He also placed a hand over her mouth to silence the rather graphic invectives gushing from her mouth. Clark quickly said to the police sergeant, "If you value your life, I would get the hell out of here, now."
The noise of the escalating disturbance eventually attracted Inspector Henderson.
When the police inspector arrived at the site of the altercation, Clark quickly explained to him what initiated his wife's rather agitated behavior.
Knowing that Clark Kent was a scrupulously honest journalist, he turned to his subordinate and said in a harsh tone, "Sergeant, return to the station. As the police-officer departed, Henderson added in an unfriendly voice, "We'll have a long talk about this situation at a later time, sergeant." As the policeman was leaving the scene, Henderson added, "And, don't think I'm going to forget your foolishness or, should I say, stupidity, sergeant." After the sergeant had left the scene, Henderson turning toward the Kents said, "Lois, when are you going to learn to control that fiery temper or yours?"
Before Lois could respond, Henderson diffused the situation by asking the Kents, "What can I do for you guys this find day?"
Lois replied that she and her husband would like to look over the lab area, located in the basement of this particular Barstow edifice.
Seeing the apprehension in Clark's eyes, Henderson said, "Are you two sure you want to venture into the basement of this particular building?"
Lois nodded her head vigorously affirming her decision. Reluctantly, Clark agreed with his soulmate's wishes by also shaking his head.
What Clark didn't say was that he was worried as hell about his wife in this potentially dangerous situation. But Clark knew that when Lois got on a tear, there was no holding her back.
When the two reporters entered the Barstow building, Clark noticed that there was no one in sight. He then picked up his waddling wife and flew them both to the basement lab area. When Clark put his wife down, a rather perturbed Lois Lane-Kent swatted him and said, "Did I asked you to carry me? I'm not an invalid yet, my Kryptonian Boy Scout."
After the emotional tete-a-tete between Clark and wife simmered down, the duo began to search the lab. As they were looking over the room, Lois commented, "Do you really think that the Prankster planted a bomb in this building?"
"I don't know, Lois," Clark responded. "He certainly hated Michael Barstow for testifying against him in that munitions case."
After looking over the place for a while, Lois commented, "This whole thing seems like a hoax. If Superman can't locate an explosive device with his buzz, buzz," she declared, "then I think the Prankster has put one over on us and is now having a big laugh at our expense."
"That may be so, dear," Clark replied, kissing Lois on her cheek. Sighing, Clark said, "Win some, lose some."
"I don't like to lose," she replied banging her fist on the tabletop.
Knowing the Prankster, Clark continued, after his wife's display of temper, "He may have encased a bomb in a lead container or created a non-classical explosive."
Just as he finished conveying his ideas to Lois, Clark picked up a strange sound with his super hearing. The noise appeared to be occurring at or near the molecular level and was coming from the basement wall.
Using his microscopic vision, Clark suddenly realized that the composition of the wall was rearranging itself into an explosive mixture and was about to detonate.
In a flash, Clark seized Lois and wrapped his arms about her, enveloping his wife within his aura and burying her face in his chest to protect her eyes. Just as Clark finished safeguarding his wife, a horrific blast ripped the Barstow building into fragments.
As the dust settled, Henderson's men rushed into the rubble. A few minutes later, they found Lois and Clark covered by the residue of the blast in a cave-like edifice created by the falling debris.
After explaining that they had been saved by Superman's intervention, the two reporters returned to the Planet and wrote up their story. When they had sent their Prankster story to Perry, Lois and Clark were then summoned to the chief's office.
Looking into the chief's eyes, both of the Planet's star reporters knew that Perry had been shaken to his core by their near death experience.
He said to Clark, "You, son, and Lois are going to take an extended, paid holiday at your parents' farm. I've already called them. There, at least, I'll know you'll be safe. When I can find a story that will not place you and my expected grandkids in harm's way, I'll gladly give you that story. If I can't find a relatively innocuous assignment, both of you, Jon, and the unborn triplets will remain in Kansas until Lois gives birth. I can't experience any more traumas like the Barstow incident and survive. You kids are family."
Eyeing his star reporting team, Perry declared, "There is to be no argument about my decision, because as Elvis is my witness, I'll fire both of you rather than attend your funerals. *Is that clear*?"
That evening, Lois and Clark, with their two-year-old, Jon, were winging their way to CK's boyhood home in Smallville, Kansas.
During the next few weeks, Lois took it easy and improved her culinary skills with Martha looking on and acting as her mentor. As Lois' cooking improved, Clark and his son, Jon, got to know each other a whole lot better.
One evening, as Lois and Clark watched new snow silently covered the farm, CK said to his wife, " I've been thinking about the future, our future to be specific. You know, it would give me peace of mind if you would become my "super" partner again. I think you know what I'm eluding to."
Lois shook her head and said, " Ultra Woman."
Facing her husband, Lois surprised him by saying, "I think you're right, honey, it's time that my retired Ultra woman persona returned to the world stage."
Clark gasped and excitedly pulled Lois to him as he murmured, "Thank you my love."
When Clark composed himself, he quietly said, "Not only will your decision protect you and our children, but also help me safeguard the future of this world."
After a slight pause, Clark chuckled and said, "By your thoughtfulness, I believe that you'll prevent me from eventually having a nervous breakdown."
That night, with a special electrical device created by Bernie Klein and Superman Lois physiology was bridged and linked with her husband's special genetic material. The instrument then duplicated Clark's super genes and fused them with Lois' DNA. When all was done, Lois Lane had once again become an Earth- born Kryptonian, and in a short time, Ultra Woman once again.
During the following weeks, Lois regained her super abilities by exposing herself to the Earth's solar furnace—the sun. As Lois super powers emerged, Clark gave his wife a refresher course on how to properly use her super abilities .
Late one frosty evening, as the winter solstice was fast approaching, Lois and Clark took their first flight together over the snowy fields of Kansas.
As they soared through the stratosphere, the babies she carried kicked in delight. Her super juices were stimulating them, and her unborn children were in turn using her as a base drum.
Clark was now at peace. His wife was invulnerable, and a super mom as well. An other layer of protection had been added to the safety net surrounding their family. In addition to the added protection of their loved ones, Lois and Clark were once again equal partners in all things. In time, Lois and their children would assist Superman in his crusade of service to his adopted world.
About a week prior to the winter solstice, Perry called Lois and Clark and said that he needed a special feature article for the Planet's New Year's Eve edition.
The next day, Lois, Clark, and their young son were winging their way, by commercial Carrier to a small town called Aubin in the Eastern part of France. This unique hamlet was located near the border separating Switzerland from French town.
When the jet aircraft carrying the Kent family landed at the Neuchatel air terminal, they was greeted by Father Ralph Thomas, the pastor of Aubin's Roman Catholic Community, and Mordecai Kaplan and his wife Rebecca, who were the Rabbi and Rebbison of the village's Jewish population. In addition to his rabbinic credentials, Mordecai and his wife were also physicians. They operated a free clinic for the people of Aubin and all the families who lived in the outlying farms which surrounded the town.
Father Thomas was originally from Metropolis and was one of Perry White's close boyhood friends. The Rabbi and his wife were Londoners by birth. In addition to their Clerical and medical duties, the Kaplans were also raising four children.
On their drive to the village, Clark and Lois observed that the Priest and Rabbi behaved as if they were family—brothers, in fact. Their thoughts about the tangible and the philosophical matters of life approached a very similar spirituality.
During their ride to Aubin, Lois and Clark were told that Father Thomas dined most evenings with the Kaplans and was considered a permanent fixture in their home—like a family member. Rebecca informed the Kents that they, too, were welcome to join them for dinner whenever they could make it.
Smiling at her guests, the Rabbi's wife added, "My offer stands for your entire stay in Aubin. Of course, if you wish to dine in one of our village's many magnificent restaurants, I would be happy to make some suggestions." Then she laughed and said, "If you dine out that's Less mouths to feed."
Catching her breath for a second, Rebecca told the Kents that she would give them a list of all the finest, romantic eating places when they reached her home.
As the car sped toward the village, Father Thomas related to the Kents a most unusual custom that the Aubin community practiced. Friends were expected to drop in at any time and were always welcome. The township of Aubin was small enough for most of its inhabitants to know each other quite well. The hamlet of Aubin, Father Thomas proudly stated, "behaved as an extended family." As the priest droned on, a little voice in Lois' head remind her that Families often fight. Sighing, she thought, "We'll see," as her sceptical inclination reared its ugly head.
Later, when Lois and Clark were out and about in the community, they noticed that the people of the village did consider their permanent residents and the strangers among them like family. On one of their information gathering trips into town, the villagers informed the Kents that the last year, the Rabbi had spend three weeks with Father Thomas treating him for a deadly disease. During this time, Lois and Clark learned that the Catholic clergyman had been very close to death's door. He had contracted a particularly virulent form of viral pneumonia. People told the Kents that the Rabbi had slept little as he battled to save the Priest's life. One of Aubin's inhabitants went so far as to say when I saw Mordecai after Father Thomas was on the road of recovery, it looked like the Rabbi had been fighting with the angel of death. (Paragraph space here) When Mordecai had finally emerged from the priest's hospital room, the Kents were told that, the Rabbi had lost nearly twenty-five pounds. His physical appearance was gaunt, and he had become pale as a ghost.
From Sally, the Kaplan's daughter, they were informed that the first words that her father had whispered when he embraced his wife Rebecca after his grueling ordeal was that his brother would live, followed by "thank GOD for his bountiful lenities."
"Then Mom," Sally continued, "took Daddy to a unused hospital room, washed him in a basin, dried him with a towel, and tucked him in." Smiling, the girl added, "Papa was so tired that he was asleep before his head hit the pillow." Then the child's face became serious. "As Papa slept, Mom just sat there quietly with tears streaming down her face as she continually caressed his head. Once I heard Mama say, 'You preserved the life of a dear friend, and in doing so, you kept faith with our traditions. Preserving a life, as you well know, is like saving the entire world in time.' Then Mama said, 'With GOD's help, my beloved, you prevailed over the forces of darkness.' She then kissed Papa on the forehead and held hid hand until he awakened. I don't fully understand all the words and the meaning of my parents action yet, but I have a feeling they mean something very important, "the young girl quietly concluded.
As Sally happily skipped away, she failed to notice the tears forming in Lois' and Clark's eyes. Sally's sensitivity had touched the souls of the Kents.
When they further investigated Sally's tale, the intrepid reporters learned that while the Rabbi was battling to preserve his friend's life, the other religious leaders of Aubin helped with the spiritual duties of their compeers congregations.
As he was told of how the other clergy had responded, Clark realized that the entire religious body of Aubin behaved like they were on a battlefield. He knew that in time of war, clergy would often pinch-hit for each other and serve the spiritual needs of soldiers or people not of their faith.
The commentary About Aubin's clergy had rung a bell with Lois and Clark. At some time or another , Perry had told both Lois and Clark one of his tall tales which he mixed in with one of his Elvis narratives. The story Clark recalled was about the actions of GOD's messengers in the midst of an inferno.
Perry, while in Nam, had once been assigned to a particular area that was nearly always under fire. On one particular bad day, he told them, this area was ablaze with exploding shells and the shrieks of the maimed and the dying. In that hellish inferno, Perry had observed something soul inspiring. He had seen a Jewish Sabbath service be conducted by a Lutheran minister, while in another place on that field of death, a Rabbi was leading a mass for Catholic soldiers and giving last rights for those who were dying and being gathered to their fathers. Later, during his Nam tour, he'd seen a Baptist minister leading Hanukkah services.
As the Kents were walking home that evening, Clark turned toward Lois and commented, "I guess for those who walked through the valley of the shadow, all paths to the divine could be considered a common universal thoroughfare."
Lois and Clark later learned that, after the recovery of Father Thomas, a sense of thanksgiving, had flooded the village of Aubin. Several weeks after the priest's recovery, Rebecca Kaplan gave birth to a baby girl. To his surprise and delight, Ralph Thomas became the godfather of Rebecca and Mordecai's infant daughter.
As the days seamlessly flowed one into the other, Rebecca graciously became a nanny to the Kent's son, Jon. The reporters' roaming excursions were becoming more and more lengthy as their paper's deadline approached.
One evening, as the Kents were returning to the Rabbi's home for dinner, Lois remarked, "This community seems to be mimicking Eden. I wonder why such a place is not used as a role model for developing societies throughout our tortured world."
"Think, Lois," Clark replied. "You are looking at a small town environment. Most of its residents know one another extremely well. When people know and care for one another, it's easier to work out problems that may arise from time to time between them."
Pausing for a moment, Clark continued, "Do you honestly think that politicians, whose main venue is power, or the military industrial complex whose main goals are a combination of power and greed, would ever permit this kind of society to evolve on dear old Terra Firma? Furthermore, with the world's current ethnic diversities at each others through, are the various cultures on this planet ready for such a utopian kind of existence? I think not.
"Maybe, just maybe," Clark continued, "when people like us or our descendants—" he lovingly patted Lois' tummy, "can somehow reach the hearts and minds of the Earth's folk and have them commit to a notion of decency, then only then can the world then strive for an Aubin-type existence."
As they continued to stroll toward the Rabbi's house, they noticed a frail man, with long white hair and blazing eyes, literally running for his life. The harried person was being pursued by group of youngsters who were hurling rocks and other debris in an attempt cause him bodily harm.
Watching the scene, Lois commented cynically, "I guess we've just discovered the serpent in this paradise."
As the Kent's continued to observe the scene, the man slipped into the synagogue and disappeared from sight. Losing sight of their quarry, the kids lost interest in the chase and went their separate ways.
When they arrived at the Kaplan home and were seated around the dinner table, Lois commented, "I saw a man being chased by a group of young men today. They seemed intent of hurting him. Why do Aubin's authorities allow such a thing to occur within the village?"
"That must have been Natan ben Yigal you saw," Father Thomas remarked. The people believe that he is a miser." As the priest looked at Lois, he added, "You're right, Ms. Kent, those kids were intent on hurting that man."
Father Thomas then continued, "The civil authorities should not tolerate such doings. But, people like Natan seems to bring out a loathing in our community, which unfortunately manifests itself in the physical torment of Natan and others like him. Although we do try to help, the clergy of Aubin can do little to prevent the periodic attacks on ben Yigal and the others.
In support his friend, the Mordecai added, "Over time, the inhabitants of our village have developed an almost seething intolerance for those who do not share with their neighbors. This loathing seems to intensify when the communal need becomes acute."
"I must say in the Natan's behalf," the Priest added, "while he does not appear to contribute to charitable causes nor the needs of individuals, he does not take from the community dole, nor have I seen him chastise any individual in this hamlet who does accept welfare."
Still, the Rabbi commented, "I don't understand a man who comes to the synagogue regularly and will not contribute to a single cause which has been promulgated to alleviate the suffering of others. There are three basic pillars to Judaic thinking, and the most important, in my eyes, is charity. Charity assists GOD's greatest creation—man—and grants to the charitable person's soul a blessing."
Mordecai then added, "As long as I have maintained a pulpit in Aubin, Rebecca and I have not seen Natan contribute to one worthy cause which was founded to alleviate the anguish of people who can not help themselves."
Speaking again on Natan's behalf, Father Thomas chimed in, "I've never seen him take anything offered by the community, even when he appeared to be in trouble himself."
"True enough," reiterated the Rabbi. "I've always wondered, though, why he comes to the synagogue on Saturday. He never offers tzedakah (charity) and his name is never mentioned, nor is he granted an aliyah (called to the Torah). The Jewish community has essentially ostracized him. In fact," the Rabbi continued, "I have found that most of the people in our village treat him with disdain. If it were not for their reverence for God, I dare say that Natan would either be severely injured or even killed because of his attitudes."
The Priest agreed.
Mordecai then asserted, "Although I don't agree with Natan's view of life and the manner in which he treats his neighbors, I still hope and pray that God will look after him."
"Amen," Father Thomas quietly said.
Gazing at the Priest and the Rabbi, Lois remarked, "You guys are amazing. I think that the two of you would try to protect any despicable person such as Natan ben Yigal. You would probably look for the good in the worst scoundrel even if that individual, given the chance, would seal the gold in your teeth."
Looking at what she considered were two befuddle clergyman, Lois asked, " Tell me if I got this situation straight. It appears that, in the midst of a village that is attempting to practice the golden rule, there exists one or more miserly persons who apparently go against the grain of the community. Yet, if they were ever to ask for assistance, or even if they didn't request help, you would go to their aid."
Both clergymen nodded in agreement with her appraisal. The Rabbi then said to Lois, "Isn't what you said also part of the golden rule of which we all speak?"
Lois smiled and had to admit to herself that Rabbi and the Priest were correct even from her more pragmatic viewpoint of life.
Becoming Pensive again, Father Thomas added, "Speaking of miserly people, I wonder what has happened to Natan."
The Rabbi replied, "When I last saw him , he was in the Synagogue's sanctuary after being chased by those kids.
After a moment, Mordecai remarked, "You know, Natan did look kind of sickly after his harrowing experience."
"I wonder where he went," Father Thomas mused.
After a moment, Mordecai commented, "You know, I believe Natan may have gone home when it became dark enough not to be recognized. He lives somewhere near a large mountain the people in these parts call Sinai. If my memory servers me correctly, his home is about fifteen miles North of the village."
As Christmas Eve and Hanukkah approached, thoughts of Aubin's misers were temporarily forgotten by the town folk who were overpowered by the euphoria of the festive season.
For the remainder of the week, Lois and Clark saw a multi- ethnic community blend together and celebrate probably the happiest holidays of the Judeo-Christian year. The windows of the homes were ablaze with light coming from Menorahs and gaily decorated Christmas trees. Food and spirits were in abundance for the celebrants and their guests. None of the inhabitants of Aubin or the stranger that lived among them were denied the special delicacies and pleasures of the season.
A few days before New Year's (The Feast of the Circumcision on the Christian calendar), Lois and Clark faxed their story to the Planet and prepared to join the merriment commemorating the coming new year. And, like on other New Year's, a time of hope and of longing for justice and good will again became clarion call of each and every citizen of the town.
As the Kents were having supper with Father Thomas and the Kaplans a few days prior to the coming Year, they heard a knocking upon the door of the Rabbi's home. When Rebecca opened the entry way of her house, she blanched. Before her was a blind girl, about eighteen years old, shivering with cold and on the verge of collapse. The girl appeared gaunt and very weak from extreme hunger. Rebecca reached for the girl and held her close. Then she helped her into the Kaplan home and immediately seated her at the table. Hot tea was brought and a plate of food was placed before the sightless girl.
After the girl had eaten a little and was calmed by the tea and the warmth of the house, Father Thomas asked the blind girl, called Lilith, what had caused her near death experience.
Hesitating for a moment, Lilith, who also happened to be one of the Rabbi's congregates, said, "My family and I were fine until a few days ago. For years, each morning, an unknown person left food for us and cut a wood supply for our fuel needs. When medical help was required or monies needed, they these items were always provided by a shadowy figure." That was all that the girl could tell them about her and her families unknown benefactor.
As the she was recuperating, a rescue party was dispatched to help her family, who was still stranded in their mountain home.
Seeing that Lilith was regaining her strength, the Priest inquired, "What happened to you and your family that so disrupted your lives and plunged you and your family into such a perilous state?"
After a brief pause, Lilith replied, "Three days ago, our life sustaining benefactor did not come nor has he come since. With his absence our live sustaining needs ceased." It was then that the blind girl had then set out for the Aubin to seek help. For three days she had walked and crawled through the snow in the direction of the festive noises until, at last, she reached the outskirts of the town. There, some of the town's folk had found her and took Lilith to the Rabbi's home
Clark quietly said to his wife, with tears glistening in his eyes, "Lois, I believe we have just witnessed a truly miraculous event."
As tears cascaded down Lois' face, she nodded and then clutched her husband's hand. The enormity of the girl's efforts on behalf of her family had left a normally talkative Lois Lane- Kent speechless.
After the mountain girl's heroic trek, things seemed to settle back into a normal routine. Several days later, however, a tired, elderly woman carrying two children arrived at the Priest's home. The story she told was amazing similar to the blind girl's narrative.
As New Year's approached, more starving and haggard people arrived within the village of Aubin and were taken in by the town folk. News of each succeeding refugee traveled like wildfire throughout the town.
With more arrivals of destitute people straggling into town each day, the villagers quickly became aware that something was greatly amiss.
Ever the reporters, sent by the Daily Planet, attempted to make sense of the sudden influx of needy refugees into the village of Aubin.
Over breakfast, several days before New Year's Eve, Clark inquired if anyone in the area had suddenly passed away during the previous two weeks. He was looking for an individual who was extremely philanthropic, especially to the poor and the indigent. No one at the table seemed to be aware of such a person and no deaths had been recorded during the time frame specified by CK.
Clark's query was then circulated throughout the village. He received the same unsatisfactory response from the town's inhabitants.
Through all of this hullabaloo no one thought to inquire about Natan ben Yigal. No one, that is, until the Rabbi noticed that one of his congregates had not been accounted for when a check was made of the outlying families. Being concerned about all of his flock, the Rabbi asked for help to search for Natan.
That evening, Mordecai Kaplan, with some of his friends, Lois and Clark and Father Thomas, began a journey toward a snow covered peak, considered by the inhabitants of the region as a mountain of God.
Several hours later, they discovered Yigal's dwelling nestled in a grotto at the foot of the great mountain. In the house they found the mortal remains of a man with long white hair with his eyes open, staring at the jeweled vault of heaven through the only window in the house. Natan ben Yigal had pass away as he had lived, alone. From the looks of things, his passing appeared to have occurred about a week before they had found his body.
As they wandered about Natan's sparsely furnished home, Father Thomas mentioned, "You know, my friends, if you think about the time of Natan passing and compare it with the appearance of those poverty-stricken souls who trekked to Aubin, both events seemed to coincide."
"What are you suggesting?" Clark inquired.
"Nothing tangible," the Priest replied. "I'm just trying to make sense out of the strange events that have happened over the last week." Shaking his head he added, "From the depths of my soul I somehow feel that there is a connection between Natan's death and the refugees that now seek shelter in our town."
He then smiled at Clark, after his rather dramatic statement. Ralph Thomas knew that the Kents needed hard facts to make such a connection. For the moment, the priest let the matter rest.
Using wood found in Natan's cottage, the Rabbi and Priest constructed a coffin, as prescribed by Judaic law. He was then buried adjacent to his home at the base of the great mountain. No stone was erected to indicate the site of Natan's grave for fear that vandals or revenge seekers would desecrate his final resting place.
"Are you sure that's the reason you don't want to put up a marker," Lois challenged them.
"Yeah," both Clergyman replied almost in unison to the feisty brunet.
"With our experience," the Rabbi added, "we know that People can be cruel, especially to a seemingly hurtful individual. I and my colleague and friend, Father Thomas, are fearful that Natan's grave would be defaced even though it would be a sacrilegious act. So we both strongly feel that, no marker should be erected." Lois had to agree with their pragmatic decision.
Returning to Natan's home, the ever curious Lois Lane began searching the premises. She discovered an old box which contained a manuscript whose pages were yellowed with age.
As Lois read the manuscript, she began to sob. For Mad Dog Lane to bawl over someone's misfortune, as she read the yellowed pages of Natan's journal, was in itself a miracle.
Looking at her husband, Lois said, "I think we have the hard facts needed to confirm Father's Thomas's ideas about Natan's involvement with the refugees."
As Lois read the yellowed manuscript out loud, it became apparent that Natan ben Yigal had made a vow to God long before those now present in his house were born.
After Lois finished the reading, Mordecai further enlightened them by pointing out that a person who makes a heavenly pledge is considered a Nazarite. Such a person doesn't cut his or her hair and avoids strong drink during the execution of their covenant with God.
Natan's vow, though, had taken a lifetime to fulfill.
As the events of Natan's life became clearer, they all realized that because of this man and a woman named Rachel, his betrothed, countless people had survived an inferno of evil that had raged throughout Europe earlier in the twentieth century. Many of those saved by these two had married and had children of their own. Children who would carry hope within their hearts and be a blessing to future generations of mankind.
For some moments after Lois had completed the reading Natan's diary, those assembled there wept.
Later that week, like all people throughout the world, the inhabitants of Aubin awaited the New Year with great anticipation. Unlike the celebrants elsewhere, the Aubin population were preparing to hear a message that would tell a tale about a person known as the miser of their town and the woman he loved; two people who had dedicated themselves to humankind and who deeds were known but to God.
As the special New Year's greeting was being broadcast to the people of the Aubin community, two super beings flew to a tiny grotto nestled against a mighty mountain, which stood guard over a good man's final resting place. There, a man in a red, blue, and yellow suit carved a message on a granite slab with his heat vision. It simply read: Here Rests a Righteous Man, Natan ben Yigal, Whose Virtuous Deeds Throughout His Lifetime Were Known Only To God. When Clark finished his task, he and Lois placed the stone at the head of the simple grave that marked the final resting place of a saintly person.
Standing above Natan's grave and holding the woman he loved, a man from another world dressed in a multicolored suit turned his eyes heavenward and recited the ancient Aramaic prayer for the departed, "Yit-ga-dal v' yit-ka dash… (Magnified and Sanctified be the glory of GOD…) At that moment in time, both Lois and Clark glimpsed eternity.
As the summer solstice approached, Lois, Clark, and their first born, entered the newsroom of the Daily planet. With them were the newest members of the Lane-Kent Clan: Jordan Natan, Mata Rachel, and Lara Ellen.
The Kent triplets had entered the world twelve weeks ago. They were now very frisky and observant little people.
As the Lane-Kent family entered the bullpen of the Daily Planet, the usual din on the news floor rose to a crescendo. As the outer garments of the Lois' and Clark's new kids were being removed, the staff could no longer control themselves rushed to see the Kent's new editions up close. Perry led the charge.
As Perry, Cat, and Jimmy picked up the babies, Clark ran around like an overprotective father on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
The commotion over the Kent's newest children literally "stopped the presses."
Watching the hullabaloo being made over her issue, Lois and her older boy moved to a less turbulent part of the newsroom. There she could watch and enjoy the near chaotic situation that was rapidly unfolding.
Feeling Jon's hands clenching her leg, Lois bent down and lifted her son, clutching him to her breast. As Jon rested his head upon Lois' shoulder, she could sense the boy's joy at being cuddled by his mother.
Observing her four-year-old, Lois thought, "I guess Martha was right. Sons and mothers do seem to form a special bond. The same seems to be true between fathers and their female offspring. Since the birth of their girls, Lois was all to aware that a special bond was developing between Clark and his new born daughters."
After the bonding thoughts had flashed through her mind, Lois recalled the discussion she and Clark had over the names for their new kids.
In her conversation with Clark, Lois had presented some ideas that she had learned from her good friend Rebecca Kaplan. Apparently, in the Jewish tradition, the name of a loved one or a righteous person was given to a newborn. In that way, the name of such an individual would never truly be forgotten and, therefore, that person, in a spiritual way, would never truly be dead. If your remember someone that are still apart of this world.
Clark liked Lois' ideas and also agreed to adopt them when the time came to name their babes.
Therefore, Lara Ellen were the names given to one of the newborn girls to honor Clark's birth mother and Lois' natural parent. Even though Ellen was difficult at times, and her nurturing skills were inadequate at best, still she was the rootstock of Clark's beloved and deserving of remembrance.
Similarly, Jordan Natan were the names given to Lois' and Clark's second son. In his naming, Clark's natural father was remembered. Natan, the name of a righteous man would also be honored and become part of the Lane-Kent line.
Finally, Marta and Rachel were names accorded to the second girl of the Kent triplets. Marta was given for Clark's beloved earth mother and the second name, Rachel, was dedicated to Natan's star-crossed lover. Rachel had stood by Natan in life as he had honored her in death for her selfless care of uncounted children in the camps of terror created by a demented and murderous political regime known to the world as the Third Reich.
As Lois thought about Clark's and her new babies' names, she recalled what Rebecca had told her just before she and her family had left Aubin. "Natan signifies 'he gave,'" the Rabbi's wife had said, "and his father name, 'Yigal,' means 'redemption,'" she added. No more explanation was necessary.
While Lois was enjoying all the fuss that the newsroom crew was making over her triplets, she also had been wishfully thinking about her Aubin adventure. She recalled Natan who certainly had fulfilled the meaning of his namesake throughout his life." . With tears trickling down her face, Lois whispered, "May the miser of Aubin be bound up with the creator of the universe."
As her thought about Natan passed through her mind, an eerie feeling washed over her that seemed to say, "Thank you."
Thinking again about the festival of lights she and Clark had celebrated not so long ago with those wonderful people of Aubin, especially with Father Thomas, Rabbi Kaplan and his family, Lois knew that the Kent Clan would be making many more trips to that small village on the shore of Lac de Neuchatel.
When her kids were older, Lois would accept Rebecca's offer and send them to Aubin during their summer vacations. There they would, in nearly idyllic surroundings, have the Kaplan's children for friends and playmates.
Aubin also would be an excellent starting point for the Kent and Kaplan children to explore Europe with Rebecca acting as chaperone.
"More importantly," Lois thought, "Her kids would get to know the workings of Aubin's Elysium like society, which, in time, she hoped, would provide them with an ideal model of a world community. A model that could be of use when the Lane-Kent clan began to forge Utopia."
There was also another reason why Lois felt that the Kent's and the Kaplan's families should get to know each other really well. She recognized the "deer in the headlight syndrome" between her son Jon and Rebecca's daughter Sally when they were first introduced.
During Aubin's Festival of lights, Sally, a variant name for Sarah, seemed only to have eyes for her oldest son, Jonathan. As Lois had watched, she was only to aware that her son had reciprocated Sally's look—it was the gaze of a captivated person. Although they were still both very young, as far as she knew, soulmate bonding was not predicated upon time or age restraints.
To be fair with herself, only with the passage of time could she be sure whether or not her suspicions were credible.
After a slight pause in her mental jousting, Lois looked into a mirror and smiled as she murmured, "Hmm. If Jon and Sally are truly soulmates—and she was fairly sure they were—Clark and I had better research the "do's and don't's" of a traditional Hebraic wedding."
When Lois told Clark of her speculations about Jon and Sally he'd said, "Lois, are you out of your cottin' pickin' mind? Jon and Sally are only four years old."
Throwing up his hand, Clark walked into the kitchen to get a glass of a Kryptonian beverage he knew would settle his nerves. As he sipped the non-earthly brew, Clark's inner voice said, "You are aware that Lois has phenomenal insight. She can leap to an apt conclusion on the tiniest aggregate of data. Her record on that account has been extraordinary over the years."
"OK," he murmured to himself. "She has a great record when it comes to guessing the cause of a troublesome problem. That doesn't make her right in this case."
As Clark continued to reflect about Lois' past guesses, He began to wonder whether this mental thing of hers wasn't someway linked to a some form of psychic ability.
When Clark finally sat down at the kitchen table, he began to envision Jon and Sally as a couple and became unsettled about Lois' prediction.
As he further reflected on his conversation with his soulmate, Clark recalled that Lois' feeling about the children's eventual union was unusually firm. He generally trusted Lois' relatively staunch notions.
Sitting at the table, Clark made a mental note to talk to his wife again about her predictions concerning Jon and Sally. Maybe this time next year.
After slowly taking another sip of his Kryptonian brew, Clark jumped up and yelled, "Lo-is…"
Season's greetings to all.